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20 July, 2024
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Justice minister stresses ongoing evaluation for ceasefire line security

Cyprus strengthens measures along ceasefire line amid migration concerns

Newsroom / CNA

Cyprus' Minister of Justice and Public Order, Marios Hartsiotis, revealed on Wednesday that heightened measures along the ceasefire line are a response to ongoing security evaluations.

Following a Council of Ministers meeting, Hartsiotis addressed journalists' queries regarding migration issues and the increased measures along the 180-kilometer ceasefire line, which divides the Turkish-occupied northern areas from the government-controlled south. He stressed that migration, alongside terrorism and organized crime, remains a top government priority, prompting daily assessments and adjustments to security measures.

"In accordance with this approach, we have strengthened measures along the Green Line based on assessed information," noted the Minister.

Regarding migrant flows from Lebanon, Hartsiotis acknowledged limited information but emphasized the government's commitment to implementing preventive measures to deter potential influxes, drawing from past experiences.

Meanwhile, Seweryn Stopa, head of Europol's European Migrant Smuggling Center (EMSC), affirmed support for Cyprus in managing migration challenges. Stopa led a delegation on a two-day visit to discuss collaboration with Cypriot authorities in addressing recent surges in migrant arrivals.

The delegation, which includes EMSC specialist Maria Maria and Europol's Guest Officers Department head Edward Mangion, engaged in consultations with key officials from the Ministry of the Interior and Cyprus Police. Discussions focused on enhancing cooperation to effectively manage migration and related security concerns.

During a meeting at Police Headquarters, Deputy Chief of Police Demetris Demetriou highlighted the gravity of Cyprus' security challenges and expressed appreciation for Europol's ongoing assistance. Stopa reiterated Europol's commitment to supporting Cyprus and emphasized the organization's readiness to address identified needs.

The Europol delegation's agenda includes visits to the Ministry of the Interior, the Port & Maritime Police facilities, and the "Pournara" Migrant Reception Center in Kokkinotrimithia. Established in 2016, EMSC aims to facilitate coordination among EU member states to combat illegal migrant smuggling and dismantle associated criminal networks.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  Europol  |  migration  |  security

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